This article from the National Wildlife Federation gives a good overview of the Endangered Species Act. I was curious about what criteria animals have to meet in order to be listed as endangered. Researchers only have to prove one of the following points before an animal can be listed:
- Has a large percentage of the species vital habitat been degraded or destroyed?
- Have the species been over-consumed by commercial, recreational, scientific or educational uses?
- Are the species threatened by disease or predation?
- Do current regulations or legislations inadequately protect the species?
- Are there other man-made factors that threaten the long-term survival of the species?
Following the further information link on that website will show you the main ideas that the National Wildlife Federation implement to try to curb the decreasing animal populations:
- Defending and strengthening the ESA
- Holding federal agencies and other accountable
- Advocating for increased funding
- Protecting and restoring the habitats
- Reducing threats to wildlife
I enjoyed reading the success stories about the Endangered Species Act. It’s refreshing to read about animals that made a comeback when most of the news focuses on the dwindling populations. The interesting fact I didn’t know was that pesticides can thin the eggshells of birds, thereby killing the young. I’m not a huge fan of pesticides or genetically altered anything. I can appreciate the importance of them, but I don’t think all the side-effects or ramifications are known. Finding out that pesticides play a major role in something totally unrelated to controlling pests (and pertaining to an endangered species nonetheless) shows that we don’t understand the full consequences of using certain chemicals and should be more cautious before hosing everything down with them and believing it is some sort of cure-all.
If you are interested, here is a link to the World Wildlife Fund‘s website for making a symbolic endangered animal adoption. There are over 100 endangered animals to chose from! FYI: There are also lots of other zoos/organizations that allow you actually pick an animal you wish to support.
Red Panda. Wiki Commons: William Scot